Not only is Portugal a highly underrated place to visit, most Americans can’t name a single quintessential Portuguese dish. Perhaps they just have not been exposed to Portuguese culture in America, but it’s high time that Portugal and its cuisine gets some recognition in the U.S. Portuguese food is known for seafood and plenty of spices. Here are some of the dishes and delicacies you must try when visiting Portugal.
Cozido a Portuguesa
Cozido a Portuguesa is one of the most well known and popular dishes that includes meats, sausage, and veggies. The best part of Cozido a Portuguesa is that every region has its on take on it, so you can try it everywhere you end up visiting in Portugal so you can see how the regions impact the dish.
Cozido a Portuguesa found in northeastern Portugal has breaded sausage called farinjeira, blood sauage called morcela, and sausage that is mixed with bread and game called alheira. However, in the Algrave you’ll find Cozido a Portuguesa with mint and potato.
When you think of comfort food, feijoada is the dish that will warm you right up while in Portugal. Feijoada is a stew that contains pork, beans, and vegetables and spiced with paprika, cumin, cloves, and garlic. It is absolutely delicious. Along the coastline you’ll find variations that replace pork with local seafood.
Peixinhos da Horta
Peixinhos da Horta literally means “tiny fish from the garden.” While it does not contain actual fish, the final product resembles little colorful fish. Typically made with green beans, the veggies are deep friend in a wheat flour batter. What a way to eat your greens!
Alheira de Mirandela
In the 1400s, many Jews that were expelled turned to refuge in the mountains of Tras-os-Montes in the northeast part of the country. Many had to pretend to have converted to Catholicism to stay safe and so they had to eat sausages as a way to signify that they no longer kept kosher.
Thus, Alheira de Mirandela was born, and since then it has become one of the most popular dishes in the country. Alheira de Mirandela is not made with pork but with poultry or game mixed with bread.
Sardinhas Assadas is one of the most common comfort dishes in the country. It is a simple and delicious platter of whole grilled sardines. While eating them, you bite into the side of the fish to avoid the spine. The combination of smoky and crispy skin along with the flaky meat is incredible.
Pastel de Nata
So what’s for dessert? One of the most typical desserts you’ll find in Portugal is the Pastel de Nata, a creamy egg tart made of flour, butter, cinnamon, eggs, and sugar. The outer shell of the pasty is crispy that melts in your mouth. Enjoy it alongside a cup of delicious Portuguese coffee.